“Rachel, it has been four days. Call him.” Rachel’s mom had moved through sympathy and silence and was at tough love. Rachel had come to predict her mom on things like that. It had been the same when she and Nate broke up. Only then she’d lived in her own apartment and didn’t have to talk to her mom about it every night.
“He told me not to call.”
“Men never mean that.”
Rachel gave her mom a nasty look and went back to the work she had brought home from the office.
“Fine, if you won’t call him I’m gonna to him at church on Sunday.”
“Do what ya gotta do mom.” Rachel said without looking up.
Mercifully her mom gave up and left her alone. She looked at the face of her cell phone to see if there were any missed calls but there was still nothing. He had been upset but she never thought he would take this long to contact her. A day, maybe two, seemed reasonable but she had to prepare her heart for a breakup.
It seemed Christian men were no better than unchristian men. She refused to be sad. No, she was angry at him. What he was doing was far worse than what she did. She didn’t intend to hurt him. In fact, she had not told him so as to spare him hurt. He was trying to hurt her and that wasn’t right.
“Rachel, telephone.” Her mom called from the other room.No one Rachel knew had her parents’ number. They all used her cell phone. Rachel stood up and took the phone from her mom.
“Who is it?” She said after she covered the mouth piece.
“I don’t know.” She turned and walked away.
“Hello?” “Hi Rachel. How have you been?” Curtis’ voice sounded wonderful.
Her muscles relaxed and she hurried into her room and closed the door. “I’ve been busy. How have you been?”
“Busy.” There was a long pause. “I miss you.”
She closed her eyes and leaned against her headboard. “I miss you too.”
“Can I come see you?”
“If you don’t mind.”
“No, come now.”She hung up the phone and ran to her mirror.
“I look awful.” She touched up her makeup and put extra concealer under her eyes to cover the dark circles. Then she took off her sweats and put on jeans and fixed her hair.
She walked across the hall to get her spray gel from the bathroom. “Don’t you look nice? Expecting someone special?” Her mom teased.
“Did you call him?”
“I needed to talk to him about Sunday.”
Rachel sprayed her hair and went out to the living room. Fifteen minutes later Curtis pulled in the driveway. When she saw him Rachel ran out the front door to meet him. They stood in nearly the same spot they had been at the beginning of the week.
Curtis was the first one to speak. “Adam told me about the theological discussion the two of you had.”
“I told him I thought it was ridiculous for two people who love each other not to be together.”
“Curtis, I’m really sorry.”
He held up his hand. “I overreacted. You we’re right. We weren’t exclusive.”
“But I should have told you.”
“I don’t know that telling me would have made it any easier to hear.”
“Do you forgive me?”
“I love you, Rachel. That means I have to let this go if we have any shot.”
“I guess I figured that a couple of dinners with him weren’t worth losing you.”
“A couple of dinners?” He crinkled his face. “That wasn’t what he said.”
“What did he say happened?”
“He said you…had a…physical relationship.”
“No, we did not.”
He took a step toward her.
“This week has been awful.” She took the last few steps to him and hugged him. “Why didn’t you call?”
“I wasn’t sure how you would respond to me after the way I blew up at you.”
“I almost called you the first night.”
“I wanted to get in touch but…Then your mom called and told me you’d been moping around the house all week.” He smiled at her. “I thought maybe that meant I had a shot of getting you back.”
You are reading A Face in the Shadow by Tiffany Colter.
Tiffany is a writer, speaker and writing career coach. She is a frequent contributor to print and online publications in addition to her regular marketing blog at http://www.writingcareercoach.com/
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This story is copyright Tiffany Colter. 2007. It may not be copied, distributed, sold or included in any larger work without the expressed written permission of Tiffany Colter.
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